PHD Comics hits the big screen

September 16, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier, report
(c) Jorge Cham

( -- If you are a graduate student, you are more than likely aware of the popular Piled Higher and Deeper, or PHD, Comics created by Jorge Cham. These comics cover the everyday struggles that scientists face while in grad school in a humorous and accurate depiction.

For the last year, grad students around the world have found themselves missing their regular comics, it now appears that creator Jorge Cham had a very good reason for the comic going MIA. He has been working with a team of grad students from California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, to create a live-action film where the characters of his comic strip come alive. spoke with Jorge Cham and learned that the movie was produced and directed by real-life graduate students from Caltech and the comic characters have been brought to life, not by professional actors, but grad students as well. The movie also features cameos by top scientists and professors including two MacArthur "Genius" Award winners.

For those of you not familiar with the comic, it focuses on the lives of Cecilia, Mike Slakenerny, Tajel and the Nameless Grad Student. The comic and now the film, looks at the everyday life of a grad student. From research and more research to teaching, and love, the movie presents as interesting characters and introduces the average person into what life is really like for a grad student.

PHD Movie Trailer

Television shows like the Big Bang Theory have increased the popularity of the scientist in recent years. While the Big Bang Theory is not completely true to life, the hopes of shows like this and of the new PhD Comic movie is to break the old stereotypical view of scientists.

Starting September 15, the PhD Comic movie, “Piled Higher and Deeper” The Movie, is being screened worldwide on hundreds of academic campuses and Cham says they plan to send the movie to numerous film festivals as well. To see if the movie will be playing at a campus near you, check out his website for times and locations.

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2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 16, 2011
i prefer the tv series "the big bang theory"
5 / 5 (5) Sep 16, 2011
"While the Big Bang Theory is not completely true to life, the hopes of shows like this and of the new PhD Comic movie is to break the old stereotypical view of scientists"

Ummm, pretty sure the Big Bang Theory perpetuates the old stereotypical view of scientists.
5 / 5 (1) Sep 16, 2011
The Big Bang Theory is just a hilarious movie.

It doesn't even pretend to display scientific methodology.
not rated yet Sep 16, 2011
Big Bang Theory definitely perpetuates the view that the jock American types cling onto, for fear that the world they live in is fading into the past... unfortunately for them in the new world intelligence matters more than brawn in more ways as each day passes. Gotta keep those irrational blood thirsty testosterone fuelled jocks at bay somehow though... and they don't even watch it, they just like to know it's there... it's intelligent types that succumb to the stereotype for the same safe feelings that the jocks get who actually watch it... everyone play their roles and everyone's happy right. Sigh. Sheep.
not rated yet Sep 16, 2011
I just skimmed the top 200 PhD comics...the observations are so spot on I can't even begin to describe it.
5 / 5 (2) Sep 16, 2011
If the example they gave is any indication this comic is pitiful.

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